Is Travis Hunter Playing Today? Dynamic Draft Prospect Pushes Deion Sanders To Get on the Field

Travis Hunter, star receiver and cornerback for the Colorado Buffaloes, sustained a lacerated liver during the game against Colorado State. Head coach Deion Sanders initially stated that the versatile player would be out for three weeks.

After seeing Colorado’s blowout loss to Oregon, Hunter called for him to return to the lineup in the Buffaloes’ Week 5 home game against USC. But will Hunter be on the field in Week 5 against top NFL Draft prospect Caleb Williams and USC?

Travis Hunter’s Injury Status

Hunter would be a big addition to Colorado’s lineup if he can play as the Buffaloes face off against one of the best offenses in college football. However, his original three-week prognosis would keep him out through Weeks 5 and 6. This didn’t stop Hunter from trying to return early.

Hunter texted Sanders to explain his desire to play against the Trojans, and Sanders shared Hunter’s words with the team in a video posted by Well Off Media on Monday.

“I need to play this week,” Hunter wrote via Sanders. “We need to get everything we can so I can get back on the field. I’m not taking no for an answer.”

Unfortunately, Hunter had to take no for an answer. Coach Prime responded:

“No, you ain’t ready, and I care about you more than I care about this game. You’re gonna change the game of football one day when you’re healthy and ready. Your future is brighter than mine ever will be and ever was. Relax and get healthy. I love you, son.”

Sanders’ response to Hunter was clear. There’s no way we’ll see Hunter on the field against USC despite the talented playmaker’s pleading case.

Considering Hunter’s pedigree and projection as a top 2025 NFL Draft prospect, it might’ve been tempting for Sanders to allow Hunter to argue his way back.

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Instead, Sanders is prioritizing Hunter’s future. Hunter could be a top-five pick in the 2025 draft as either a receiver or cornerback. He’s that athletic, talented, and instinctual to earn consideration for either position as a full-time commitment.

Thus far in 2023, Hunter has 16 receptions and 213 yards on offense. He’s racked up nine tackles, one interception, and two pass deflections as a defender.

What Happened to Hunter?

Colorado State safety Henry Blackburn hit Travis Hunter late out of bounds, causing Hunter to crumble to the ground in clear pain. Hunter was diagnosed with a lacerated liver after being taken to the hospital in the direct aftermath of the hit.

It was a hit that created controversy and buzz, as Blackburn was only flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct instead of being ejected for targeting. He received death threats from fans in the aftermath of the heated moment, which Sanders condemned immediately.

Hunter also posted a YouTube video that showed him and Henry Blackburn going bowling. The two were in contact after the game, and Hunter wanted to show that he wasn’t angry with him. He also called the injury a “blessing in disguise”.

Ian Valentino is a Fantasy and Betting Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Ian’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @NFLFilmStudy.

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